Shaun O’Rourke to Present at Copernicus Alliance Conference in Prague

Education for Sustainability: Building Capacity in Higher Education

Shaun O'Rourke Presenting at the "Greening the Alley: Issues and Solutions" Symposium at the BAC

Shaun O'Rourke Presenting at the "Greening the Alley: Issues and Solutions" Symposium at the BAC; Photo by Sam Rosenholtz

The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce that Shaun O'Rourke, the Director of Sustainable Design at the BAC, was invited to present at the Copernicus Alliance Conference - "Education for Sustainability: Building Capacity in Higher Education" at Charles University in Prague on October 3, 2014.

Shaun will present on his selected paper entitled, "Designing Active and Responsive Sustainable Development Curricula for the Online Environment." The focus of his paper explores the current state of online sustainable design education and how the development of innovative distance degree programs can reach and engage a global audience.

The Copernicus Alliance is a European network of universities and colleges committed to transformational learning and change for sustainable development. The focus of the conference is to review major trends and changes in higher education towards sustainability over the last ten years, with an emphasis on curriculum developments.

"It is an honor to participate in this conference with a group of global leaders, all working to advance sustainable development education in their home institutions and beyond," commented Shaun. "I'm excited by the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and share the work of the BAC on driving innovation to establish participatory design education in the online environment."

Shaun has previously worked at AECOM in New York City as an Ecological Designer and at the United States Forest Service in Syracuse, New York. Shaun holds a MLA from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a BS from the University of Vermont. In his role at the BAC, Shaun directs and develops curriculum for the programs in Sustainable Design at the College.


In the Bachelor of Design Studies (BDS) in Sustainable Design program, students investigate critical issues relating to the health, livability, and environmental condition of our built environment. Sustainable design principles and techniques are explored at various scales to help shape a sustainable future. Sustainable Design students have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics including high-performance building design, sustainable urban planning, and holistic natural resource conservation and management. In addition, students gain a global perspective of how culture, climate, geography, and infrastructure play a key role in defining sustainable development practices.

The Master of Design Studies (MDS) in Sustainable Design program, through a distance/ low-residency program that includes brief periods of intensive study in Boston, creates leaders of the green building revolution. In classes with leading practitioners and thinkers in the field, students acquire the technical expertise, leadership skills, and resolve required for the vital work of transforming how we create and occupy our buildings and communities.

The Sustainable Design Institute (SDI) is dedicated to helping students learn about the practices, processes and materials with which we can create a truly sustainable built environment. Online courses and certificates are available in subjects ranging from designing, constructing and operating buildings to planning communities.